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Rec: Vietnamese Chicken Lettuce Cups with Exotic Herbs

Veteran Member
292 posts
Joined: Jan 8, 2006


Posted to Thread #2782 at 10:58 pm on Jul 29, 2006

This is one of the most recent versions of Vietnamese Chicken Lettuce Cups I've tried and it's very good! They were perfect for dinner when it was really hot last week.

Recipe: Vietnamese Chicken Lettuce Cups with Exotic Herbs

Makes about 4 servings as a light entree or 6 as an appetizer or starter


- ╝ cup seasoned rice wine vinegar

- 1 cup matchstick-cut or thinly bias-cut carrots

- 1 cup matchstick-cut or thinly bias-cut daikon radish

- 1 cup thinly sliced white sweet onion


- 2 tablespoons seasoned rice wine vinegar

- 3 tablespoons fish sauce

- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

- ╝ teaspoon chili paste or sambal oelek, as desired

- 2 teaspoons sugar

Lettuce & Herbs:

- 1 head green leaf lettuce, leaves separated and left whole

- 8 sprigs fresh mint or Thai mint

- 8 to 12 sprigs fresh cilantro, Vietnamese coriander (rau ram), or saw-leaf herb (long or sawtooth coriander or culantro) (see Kitchen Note)

- 8 to 12 sprigs Thai basil, shiso (perilla), or regular basil (see Kitchen Note)


- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast

- 1 tablespoon canola oil

- 1 tablespoon minced ginger

- 1 tablespoon minced garlic

- 1 tablespoon fish sauce

- 1 tablespoon soy sauce

- 6 green onions, thinly sliced

1. First, prepare the vegetables. Combine ╝ cup vinegar, carrots, daikon radish and sweet onion in a nonreactive bowl and toss well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before using, or up to overnight.

2. For the sauce, mix together vinegar, fish sauce, lime juice, chili paste and sugar, cover and refrigerate. Prepare the lettuce, mint, cilantro and basil, rinsing and patting dry with towels. Wrap in clean towels and refrigerate if not using right away.

3. To cook the chicken and finish the dish: Mince the chicken breast into very small (1/8-inch) pieces. Heat the oil in a large nonstick sautÚ pan over medium-high heat. Add the chicken, ginger and garlic, and stir-fry for about 3 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Then add the fish sauce, soy sauce and green onion, and stir-fry for another minute.

4. Place the chicken in a medium bowl on a large platter. Put the sauce in a smaller bowl with a tiny spoon for serving. Drain the marinated vegetables and place on the platter; surround everything with the lettuce leaves and herbs, nicely arranged.

5. Guests take a lettuce leaf, spoon on some of the chicken, scatter with a bit of marinated vegetables, tuck in a few herb sprigs and drizzle with some of the sauce, then roll up and eat!


Rau ram and culantro are close relatives to cilantro, or fresh coriander. They're used extensively in Asia to season vegetable and meat dishes, as well as chutneys and sauces. Shiso is a cousin of basil and mint.

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